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The Open Championship cancelled as R&A opt not to look for rescheduled date

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Shane Lowry won the trophy in 2019.

Shane Lowry won the trophy in 2019.

Shane Lowry won the trophy in 2019.

The 2020 Open Championship has been cancelled as The Royal and Ancient have opted not to seek for a new date later in the year.

The 149th Open was due to be played at Royal St George's from July 16-19 but, just days after the R&A insisted it was looking at the possibility of rescheduling the event, it has been cancelled altogether.

The Kent course will instead host the 2021 Open, with St Andrew's, as scheduled, welcoming the landmark 150th Open Championship although a year later than anticipated in 2022.

With those venues pushed back a year, the knock-on effect will meas it will take one year longer for the tournament to return to Royal Portrush after 2019's highly successful event on the north coast.

The R&A had announced on Thursday that it was "continuing to work through" the options for this year's tournament, with a September date the week before the Ryder Cup mooted as a potential gap in the calendar.

However, the R&A said the drastic decision to cancel the event for the first time since the Second World War was 'the right thing to do', even if it was made 'with a heavy heart'.

“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible," said R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers.

“Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open.

“There are many different considerations that go into organising a major sporting event of this scale. We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organisations to stage the Championship and it would be unreasonable to place any additional demands on them when they have far more urgent priorities to deal with."

The year's other three major championships, however, are set to go ahead as golf's leading organisations published a reviewed schedule for the season.

The USPGA Championship is now set to be the year's first major, slated, perhaps optimistically, for August 6-9 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

The US Open will, in The Open's absence, take the September 17-21 slot a week before the Ryder Cup and will take place at Winged Foot, as scheduled.

Then, rounding up the year's major action, the Masters is now set to be played from November 12-15 at Augusta National Golf Club.

The European Tour will make further announcements on its schedule in due course.

The Ladies PGA Tour, featuring Ulster players Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire, is due to return on the week of June 15.

Belfast Telegraph